Nab homebuyers this season with fall staging
Diana Dietz, e-PRO
Oct 27, 2011
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When staging a home during the fall season it is important to remember that less is more, according to Barb Schwarz, president and CEO of StagedHomes.com.

“When I think of fall I think of Halloween and Thanksgiving,” said Schwarz. “We are getting into the holiday season now and it’s important to remember when staging a home for the fall that decorations do not go over the top.”

Schwarz says too much holiday decor can actually distract buyers from the home. If people are busy looking at decorations then they won’t be looking at the home. It is important for the seller not get out of hand with too many decorations.

“There may be potential buyers visiting a home who don’t celebrate Halloween at all but their money is just as good,” she added. “The key to staging a home with fall decorations is to keep it simple. Buyers should not leave a home and only remember the decorations.”

Schwarz offers her do’s and don’ts of fall staging:

  • Less is more. When deciding to stage a home, de-cluttering should be on the top of the list. Make sure to rake up excess leaves and keep the outdoor foliage looking fresh. Don’t decorate with too much holiday spirit. Avoid placing signs in the yard and hanging items in windows and eves.
  • Keep it simple. A series of three pumpkins on a bench (large, medium and small) is enough for a front porch. Hanging witches and ghosts is too much. A nice fall wreath on the front door is good for both Halloween and Thanksgiving.
  • Do NOT light candles. Never recommend to a seller to light candles. If something burns down, the Realtor® may face legal trouble for offering the suggestion. If the seller decides to light candles on their own then it’s ok. Unlit scented candles are ok. Pumpkin spice or vanilla candles are the safest choice.
  • Avoid trying to cover-up smells. Avoid plug-in air fresheners. These will not eliminate odors and some buyers may be sensitive to certain smells. Using products such as Pure Ayre will eliminate smells not just cover them up.
  • Staging inside. Keep the clutter away. A simple fall arrangement on the dining room table is enough. Avoid letting children decorate the inside of the home. On the night of trick-or-treat, decorations can be set out but not during the day when buyers are looking at the house.
  • Encourage professional services. Any home improvement tasks the Realtor® suggests to the seller should be in writing and include the word “professional” in front of it. This can include tree trimming, house painting, carpet cleaning, gutter cleaning and home staging. This protects not only the client but the Realtor® as well.

Schwarz is the creator of Home Staging®, a Certified Speaking Professional and creator of the Accredited Staging Professional® (ASP) course and designation. She is rated one of the top 50 Most Influential Women in Real Estate Around the World by The Real Estate Network and author of several books including “Home Staging: The Winning Way to Sell Your House for More Money.”